This file photo taken on January 8, 2018 shows China's famous terracotta warriors pictured in the northern Chinese city of Xian. (AFP/Ludovic Marin)
China's Terracotta Warriors had helped Liverpool's World Museum become the most visited English museum outside London in 2018, it was announced Wednesday.
Figures compiled by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) showed the overwhelming success of China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition, making it one of the best attended exhibitions in Britain in 2018. The 610,000 visitors to the Terracotta event rocketed World Museum up 30 places in the annual league table of British visitor attractions.
In what was a cultural coup for the northern provincial seaport city, three of England's top four museums outside of London are in Liverpool.
Laura Pye, director of National Museums Liverpool said: "The museums and galleries of National Museums Liverpool are bursting with brilliant objects, incredible stories and memorable moments, and in 2018 we were able to take it to another level with a really vibrant program, including some exceptional exhibitions."
According to her, 2018 was World Museum's busiest year with 1,416,632 visitors, a 111 percent increase on 2017. It is estimated the China's First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition had boosted the local economy by more than 110 million U.S. dollars.
Another reason to visit Liverpool, said ALVA, was the hugely popular Double Fantasy: John & Yoko exhibition at Museum of Liverpool which saw almost a million visits in 2018, a 31 percent increase on 2017. The exhibition features never before seen personal items from slain Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono.
ALVA announced visitor figures to UK attractions in 2018, which saw an average increase of 8.68 percent over 2017. Overall almost 139 million visits were made to the top 249 sites monitored in Britain by ALVA.
The biggest increase of 19.07 percent in 2018 compared with the previous year was in Scotland. Overall more than 138.8 million visits were made to the top 249 ALVA sites in the UK.
The most visited attraction in Britain in 2018 was Tate Modern in London, with about 5.87 million visits.
In London alone last year over 67.64 million people, nearly the equivalent of the total population of Britain, visited attractions in the UK capital, a 3.37 percent increase over 2017. The figures showed that the top-10 most visited attractions of 2018 were all in London.
The British Museum saw a slight decrease of 1.3 percent in visitor numbers, to around 5.83 million visits, but still made second place after the Tate. The National Gallery remained in 3rd place, while the Natural History Museum in London saw an 18 percent increase in visits to remain in the 4th place.
For the second year, the most visited attractions outside London were in Scotland, with the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, and The Scottish National Gallery being the most visited.
In England, Chester Zoo and Stonehenge were the most visited attraction and heritage site outside London.
Bernard Donoghue, director of ALVA, said: "I'm so delighted that every year, more and more people, from here in the UK and from overseas, are experiencing the astonishing array of our leading attractions in every part of the UK. Tourism is our 5th biggest industry and 3rd largest employer."